I’ve always felt really weird about Lord of the Rings fanfiction, because LotR characters seem like such pretty, untouchable alabaster figures and I found it hard to imagine any of them doing anything as mundane and gritty as Having The Sex. But here’s the thing. A dirty secret, if you will. I have always, deep down, ever since reading about Legolas and Gimli’s legendary, paradigm-bending friendship, shipped the two of them juuuuust a leetle.
I never sought out fanfic about them, but, like, eventually I had to get rid of the weird pedestal I was putting LotR on and realize that it was possible for fanfic to both do justice to Tolkien’s characters and still involve slash ships. I mean, come on. Their bond was so profound (yeah, I went there, suck it Destiel) that Gimli was the only dwarf in the history of Middle Earth to be allowed to enter the Undying Lands. Because Legolas wouldn’t go without him. If this was Star Trek, we’d call them t’hy’la, but hell if I know the Quenya equivalent of that. Anyway. I still can’t read a LotR fic if it’s not written in very Tolkienesque language, but, heyo, shocker: there are plenty of them out there that are both plenty shippy and very well written.
They Say of Elves by brancher is one excellent example of this, and one of my favorites of the Legolas/Gimli fics I’ve found. It’s a short, tightly written fic set midway through the events of The Lord of the Rings. Gimli finds himself growing overfond of Legolas, but fears making any overtures, as elves are rumored to be capricious bedfellows, masters of yarinige, not interested in commitment—while dwarves mate for life. The tension builds exquisitely as the two continue traveling and Gimli internally laments that he is caught between a rock and a hard place: either he sleeps with Legolas and has one moment of happiness before the elf casts him aside, or he remains chaste forever. The dialogue is fresh and both the characters’ speech and Gimli’s inner monologue still carry that Tolkienesque spark I crave, while also satisfying my desire for romance between this wonderful pair.
Check out brancher’s fab story here.